First visit to Amsterdam - where to stay

Discussion in 'Europe' started by MrBob, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. MrBob

    MrBob Knee-jerk liberal

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    Arriving on November 1st for a two week stay. Planning to walk or bicycle or use public transportation, depending on weather.
    I'm an Airbnb veteran and planning to primarily use it for my accommodation. Looking for tips on where to stay with reasonable access to museums and quiet evenings - not into partying these days. Love coffee shops and meeting new people. I live in Colorado so pot is pretty much, meh. Hookers - not interested.
    After 3 to 5 days in Amsterdam I'm planning to travel to The Hague and Rotterdam or wherever good nautical museums are located.
    I've been traveling mostly by motorcycle for almost 50 years so this travel light thing is kind of new to me.
    #1
  2. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    AirB&B is likely to be your best bet. But if that fails, the tourist office, the VVV is opposite the Centraal Station. which is where your transfer from Schipol is likely to drop you. They have lots of rooms and appartments and have sorted me out on several occasions.
    Back in the dim and distant, I used to stay in a nice hostel on the Utrechtdervaarstraat (my best attempt). I mention it only because anywhere closer was much more expensive and it was quite a walk to the centre.

    Driving, or rather parking is the usual city nightmare - even for mo-bikes & scooters. Push bikes get abandoned every where though. If you do hire one, make sure it is well secured.

    Moving from city to city is likely best done by train, unless you are planning some casual off-piste sightseeing along the way.


    There was a recent programme on BBC, Tim West and Prunella Scales. two old thesps who are keen canal users in UK, travelling the world and riding the various canals, both Venice and Amsterdam were covered.
    As usual. a guided canal trip gives you lots of insight you don't necessarily get from walking or reading a guide book.
    #2
  3. juno

    juno Long timer

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    I was just there for three days in late August. I would suggest staying near the outer canal ring for ease of access. There is plenty of public transportation but it was generally crowded in August. That may not be the case in November. I stayed at a hotel, the neighbors magnolia, which was a few miles out from the outer canal ring. It is in a neighborhood, which while it was quiet, there was not much around and you pretty much had to rely on the trolleys. I prefer to walk and Amsterdam is a great walking city. We would take the trolley into the canal rings and walk everywhere from there. I suggested the outer canal ring as you may have a better chance of being away from the heavy party scene but still be close to everything.
    I don't partake but my GF does. We went into a number of coffee houses and I found a lot of them to be shitholes. We found the bulldog coffee houses to be consistently the best run and cleanest. We found one where we could usually get a table outside on the canal. I would grab the table and she would go inside and get coffee and whatever she wanted. We could sit right on the canal and street and watch the crowds go by on both.
    Two things:
    1. Be very careful your first day walking around. There are more bicycles than people in the city. They do a great job allowing pedal bikes, scooters, motorcycles, trolleys, cars, lorries and pedestrians to share the same streets but it is very crowded and your head has to be on a swivel anytime you are near a bicycle lane. It takes a day to get the pulse of the controlled chaos.

    2. Reserve tickets for the Anne Frank house a few days ahead of time as it is very popular.

    Enjoy!
    #3
  4. MrBob

    MrBob Knee-jerk liberal

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    There are three neighborhoods that look interesting: De Pijp, De Jordaan, and De Negen Straatjes.
    Any information on any of these locations in terms of getting around to see the sights?
    Airbnb, for sure.
    #4
  5. Andsetinn

    Andsetinn Adventurer

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    I am in Hoofddorp, between Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Very quiet place. If you cannot find a place to stay let me know. I have space on the floor for a wind-mattress (that I can also provide) :). There is a bus every 10 to 30 minutes to a train station. The app 9292 (in Dutch and English) will give you good information about Dutch public transport, routes, where to change buses and trains, even where to walk to reach your destination.
    Personally I don't like Amsterdam. Too many tourists, drugs, and hookers. Although I have been meaning to visit the Rijksmuseum soon. Rotterdam and Hague you have already mentioned. I cannot recommend any nautical museums but Haarlem and Utrecht are worth at least a day each, Amersfoort and S'Hertogenbosch are also worth a visit. Belgium cities of Brussels and Bruges are only few hours away by train.
    #5
  6. MrBob

    MrBob Knee-jerk liberal

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    Thank you for the offer. In Amsterdam I'm be primarily interested in the museums and then plan to travel to Rotterdam, among other places. At this time of year, I hope that Airbnb places will have places for me to stay.
    And thank you for telling me about the app, 9292. I'll take a look at that as I plan to use public transport quite a bit.
    #6